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Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Richards Unite Community Leaders and Business Owners to Create Greater JFK Business Improvement District

November 16, 2016

New BID Will Bolster Competitiveness of JFK Airport

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign legislation today authorizing the creation of the Greater JFK Business Improvement District (BID) in Southeast Queens. The formation of this new BID aims to bolster the economic competitiveness of John F. Kennedy International Airport and the air cargo industry that is vital to the airport’s attractiveness. JFK is the second largest employer in Queens with 69,000 employees and $4.1 billion in wages annually. Over 15,000 people at JFK work directly in air cargo relate d jobs.

This new public-private partnership will be formed in collaboration with the Department of Small Business Services and in response to a 2013 report published by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) that identified critical ways to improve JFK’s economic potential as a commercial hub. The BID will catalyze JFK’s economic development by reinforcing over 500 businesses in the area that provide logistical support in importing and exporting 1.3 million tons of highly valuable goods that pass through the airport annually. Creation of the BID unites community residents and business stakeholders in advocating for infrastructure investments, effective urban planning, quality of life improvements and enhanced connectivity to workforce development services. Details on the BID’s plan can be read on

“This new Greater JFK Business Improvement District will serve over 500 businesses in the area, growing the surrounding economy and helping the community thrive,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “JFK Airport is an economic engine for Queens and supports tens of thousands of jobs for New Yorkers. That is why I am proud to support the new Greater JFK BID that will empower community leaders to organize and fight for the unique needs of this community.”

“The new Greater JFK Airport Business Improvement District will provide a strong voice for a neighborhood that is vital to our city’s economic success,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “In order to compete in our global economy, New York needs to continue to invest in first-rate infrastructure and unlock economic potential in neighborhoods across our city.”

“JFK Airport is integral to the city’s economy as the second largest employer in Queens, and area stakeholders, civic groups and businesses play an equally vital role in helping to grow good jobs for the community,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “The Greater JFK Business Improvement District will reinforce JFK Airport’s standing as a major global competitor, bolster our air cargo industry and catalyze economic growth for hundreds of businesses in Southeast Queens. I applaud SBS and the Greater JFK IBID Planning Committee for their hard work in making this exciting project a reality.”

"John F. Kennedy International Airport is already a key driver of the Queens economy and the creation of the Greater JFK Industrial Business Improvement District will help unlock the airport's economic full potential as a job creator and a business multiplier for our borough," said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. "The Greater JFK IBID will deliver services and improvements that will allow the nearby businesses that service the airport to work better and more efficiently. The New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation deserve to be commended for spearheading the creation of the IBID, which will greatly improve the competitiveness of the businesses it will serve."

“The Greater JFK BID seeks to build upon the area’s diversity and major economic significance by serving as an advocate and providing supplemental services and improvements that support a vision for a strong industrial base and improved quality of life for all who live, work or visit the District,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “After two years, today is a very proud moment for my community and my office to finally get to this point, and I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Small Business Services, the SpringJam Block Association, UNCA, and Community Boards 12 and 13 for their partnership in making this plan come together. I’d also like to thank Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Rebecca Chasan from our Finance Division.”

The Greater JFK BID’s formation is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio on November 16, 2016. The BID is composed of over 500 properties adjacent to JFK airport in the Springfield Gardens section of southeast Queens. The neighborhood is home to freight-forwarders, customs brokers, logistical service providers and trucking companies as well as hotels, government facilities and over 150 single family homes. The JFK Airport is a major contributor to the city’s economy, and the stakeholders in this area play a vital role in the airport’s ecosystem.

The 2013 NYCEDC report identified a critical need to expand cargo and logistical services, including warehousing and distribution facilities, improved infrastructure, business development and facilitated access to the airport and the highway network.

Planning to help address these needs began over three years ago when community leaders approached SBS to help form a BID, which prompted SBS to organize a steering committee of over 20 local stakeholders. The committee has led robust community engagement to help identify neighborhood needs, develop a strategic plan, and to garner support from area property owners, businesses and residents.

Greater JFK BID’s Expected Services and Improvements

Advocacy and Administration: The BID will advocate on behalf of the neighborhood to policy makers and other stakeholders.

Neighborhood Coordination: The BID will provide a forum for productive discussions between local residents and commercial, office and industrial tenants and owners on matters of mutual concern. The BID will be a central point for communication and coordination regarding issues affecting the district.

District Marketing, Networking and Labor Force Development: The Greater JFK BID will establish a positive district identity through an informational website, access to industry networking, client and funding sources, matching-up labor force with area businesses, support tenant outreach and highlight hotel and other specialized industries.

Public Safety and Security: The Greater JFK BID will work to improve district lighting, coordinate with the NYPD to prioritize district needs and examine the possible use of security cameras, private security or NYPD paid detail.

Sanitation/Snow Removal and Maintenance Services: The Greater JFK BID will coordinate with NYC Department of Sanitation to prioritize district needs, supplement sanitation or snow removal services by third party contractor as needed and target illegal dumping.

Technical Services and Planning Studies for Project Development: The Greater JFK BID will coordinate district-wide traffic, transportation, and parking needs, as well as streetscape and building improvements, site-specific development plans and environmental issues.

Congressman Gregory W. Meeks said, "I commend the formation of the Greater JFK Business Improvement District, which will help enhance commerce closely associated with John F. Kennedy International Airport. My district's economy and JFK are inextricably connected. Jamaica, Queens was severely hit by the recession in 2008. Retail jobs, health care jobs and small business jobs associated with JFK helped us eventually reach pre-recession employment numbers in 2012. As we continue to expand Jamaica's economy, public-private partnerships and coordination are critical. This newly formed BID will bring together the best minds in the public and private sectors towards one goal: ensuring the positive development of our beloved community."

State Senator James Sanders Jr. said, “JFK has incredible potential as a commercial hub and its economic success is important for the residents of Southeast Queens, many of whom work at the airport or in related industries. It is also critical for the more than 600 businesses that are supported by JFK. I believe the creation of the JFK Business Improvement District is a positive move. By uniting stakeholders and allowing them to work collectively in advocating for investments in infrastructure, public safety, quality of life improvements and increased job creation, the entire community will benefit.”

“I am hopeful that the creation of an Industrial Business Improvement District for the Greater JFK region will provide tangible benefits for those of my South Jamaica constituents who live within its boundaries," said Council Member Ruben Wills. "JFK itself is the single largest employer within my district. This authority’s establishment should enhance the economic vitality of its surrounding communities, but the true measure of this BID will ultimately depend on the inclusivity and diversity of its membership.”

“The signing of legislation by Mayor Bill de Blasio creating the JFK IBID is an important achievement for both citizens and businesses in Queens Community Board 13. Through the cooperation of the resident community led by Spring Jam Civic Association along with the imbedded air freight, customs brokers, truckers and logistical service providers, local government came together to provide the structure necessary to protect all of these stakeholders. Queens Community Board 13 looks forward to working with the JFK IBID as a partner in assuring the necessary city services are delivered to all who live and work in this community,” said Mark McMillan, CB13 District Manager.

“The formation of the JFK BID provides a landmark opportunity for the residential homeowners and tenants represented by Spring Jam Block Association, UNCA, and other community organizations. These organizations will collaborate with commercial tenants, as well as government agencies with respect to the District's needs of this unique but underserved district. During the formation of the JFK BID not only has the communication increased, relations have been formed and in some cases been strengthened but transparency has been exercised in a light most favorable to the community. The JFK BID is a blessing to this District and as President of Spring Jam Block Association, as well as one of the Co-Chairs of the JFK BID planning committee, I would like to thank and congratulate all of the key players who made it happen,” said Kim Lawton, co-Chair of the Greater JFK BID and Spring Jam Block Association.

“I would like to thank the City of NY and all the respective Agencies for their efforts in supporting the formation of the JFK IBID and recognizing the need to improve upon the neighborhood that supports the 1.3 Million Tons of Cargo traversing through JFK Int. Airport,” said Frank Liggio, co-Chair of the Greater JFK BID and CBRE, Inc.

“I am very proud of the volunteers of the BID Planning Committee as they worked together to recognize shared concerns and to seek making this unique New York City neighborhood overlooked and misunderstood no more,” said Barbara Cohen, BID consultant.

About SBS
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building a fairer economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About NYC BIDs
New York City is home to the largest network of BIDs in the United States. The Greater JFK BID is the 73rd BID in New York City, the 4th new BID signed into law under the de Blasio Administration, and the 13th BID in Queens. The Greater JFK BID is the 4th industrial-focused NYC BID. A Business Improvement District, or “BID,” is a geographical area where local stakeholders oversee and fund the maintenance, development and promotion of their commercial district. All BID services are funded by a special assessment paid by property owners within the district. The City's BIDs invest over $127 million annually in programs and services for neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

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